Thursday, April 30, 2009

I almost forgot to tell you - go buy sunflower seeds tonight!

Tomorrow, May 1 is International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day. I'm not making this up. In fact, I told you about it last year.

Basically what you do is you go around your community planting sunflower seeds surreptitiously where some beautification is needed. Then when the sunflowers are growing, you go back to weed and water until they are hearty enough to fend for themselves. Don't tell people you're doing it - just do it.

I've got a pack of sunflower seeds waiting to go. How about you?
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I got to be hip for a day - even if it was because of the swine flu (and no, I don't have it)

I've mentioned the More Hip than Hippie podcast on here before. The hosts Dori and Val are very funny and have a lot of the same attitude I have towards being green. Plus, they like beer and chocolate and the first time I ever listened to their podcast they had Rick Springfield introduce them. They had me at Rick Springfield. The beer and chocolate part is just a bonus.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by them for an episode of their podcast that aired yesterday -
Swine Flu and You. I've been keeping up with the news about this flu and doing some reporting on it for MNN so they asked me to come on and relay some of the information I've learned.

The swine flu is certainly something to take precautions against, but it's not something to panic about. It's a flu, and while any flu can lead to death in some people, overall people who have contracted it are reacting positively to already existing treatments. To find out more about how to take precautions you can listen to the podcast or go directly to the
CDC website for up to date information. I highly recommend sticking with reputable sources for information like the CDC because there is a lot of misinformation floating around on websites and yes, even blogs.

One last thing, there's a possibility that this strain of flu originated with a factory hog farm down in Mexico that wasn't properly disposing of its waste - although there has been no official cause stated. The CDC says that you cannot get the swine flu from eating pork products, not even the products from that particular factory farm. Still, if this is the cause, it's one more piece of evidence that the way we mass produce meat is a huge health and environmental problem.

Around the country, farmers markets will be opening in the next few weeks if they haven't already. If you have a vendor at your market that sells free range meat from animals that were properly cared for and fed, I think it's time to really start supporting these farmers. Buy some pork products (or other meat if that's what you want) and show them that you you support their methods. And, if you have other sources of locally, properly raised meat, seek them out.

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Simple, earth-friendly, meaningful crafts for Mother's Day

Lynn and Corey from
Celebrate Green have sent us some great crafts for mother's day.

Moms, I would advise you send a link of this post to your kids' dad and with a note saying something like, "Hey, I think the kid would get a kick out of making a picture frame jewelry holder for me for mother's day."

Dads, your kids will love spending time with you making something meaningful for their mom and these ideas are light on the pocketbook, leaving you with some cash to buy some local flowers or fair trade, organic chocolates to the gift.

And don't forget grandmoms. They love getting homemade gifts from their grandkids.


Money is tight right now. But money doesn't have to stand in the way of honoring your mom (and Mother Earth). You can make a beautiful and more importantly, meaningful, gift for Mother's Day. And what mom would not be thrilled to receive an item infused with meaning made by hand from someone she loves?

Here are a few ideas. Most cost little to nothing in money or environmental terms because you're rescuing items that often are tossed or left sitting in a closet or drawer.

Picture frame jewelry holder
  1. Choose an old picture frame and remove any backing. You can decorate the frame with paint, fabric or other appropriate decoration to match mom's bedroom or bathroom decor or leave it plain.
  2. Cut a piece of window screen that overlaps the back of the frame 1/2 inch. (Remember when the dog charged through the screen and ripped it to shreds? If it's still lying around, here's the perfect use for it.)
  3. Staple or nail the window screen to the back of the frame.
  4. Screw in some cuphooks along the bottom of the frame to hold rings and/or in the top corners to hold necklaces and bracelets. Earring backs fit through the screen.
  5. If you want the holder to hang, add a picture hangar to the back. Otherwise, it can sit on a small easel or rest against the wall.
Picture ball
No doubt you've got bunches of photos lying around from B.D. (Before Digital). One picture ball uses up 20 of them. This is a fun project that takes about a half hour and while a little tricky, once you get the basic idea, they're easy to make. Craft several with different themes--you as a baby, you as a teenager, you and your siblings. Watch how one is made here or see the directions here.

Meaningful charms

Most moms have a several necklaces from which they can suspend charms. How about adding to mom's collection with a little creative crafting?

Any object in which you can punch a hole can be turned into a charm. Think about your mom's talents, work or leisure activities. For a teacher, make a pencil charm. For an artist, one from a tiny paint brush. If she's sentimental, a delicate baby spoon that belonged to you.

Artists are using this technique to create amazing and wonderful jewelry from objects that would normally be tossed. One of our favorites is
Susan Lenert Kazmer.

Here's how to make the watch charm pictured here.
  1. If your mom has an old watch that sits in her drawer, ask her if you can remake it, or pick one up at a yard sale (although it will be more meaningful if you use one one she already has).
  2. Remove the face.
  3. Glue it into a bottle cap.
  4. Punch a hole in the cap near the top.
  5. Fashion a loop from a piece of wire.
  6. Add to a necklace or present on its own.
And here's a "charming" container for any small gift
  1. Remove the label from an empty soup can. Wash it. Paint mom's favorite color. Let dry. Glue paper or ribbon all the way around the top edge. Punch a hole on each side near the top and insert a piece of wire through the two holes forming a handle. (You can string on some buttons and charms after feeding one side through as done in the example.)
  2. Once this is done, mash down on the top of the can so that the opening is no longer round, but more oval (although you don't have to do this either if you prefer a perfectly round can).
  3. Glue on decorative accents and /or words cut from newspapers or magazines. A quote about mom or simply the words, "I love you, Mom," will work well.
  4. If you have a shredder, fill the can with shredded paper (from a magazine to add color if you like). Fill the can leaving just enough room to rest the gift on top.
  5. The can later can be filled with flowers and hung outside.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of
Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Three new (to me) green blogs I'm following

It occurred to me last night as I was checking my RSS feeder that because of my blog on MNN that's all about food, I've been spending much more time reading and researching environmental food topics than I have other green topics.

So I went to Twitter with the determination to find three people that I follow on Twitter that have green blogs that aren't all about food and add them to my RSS feeder. Here's who I added.

The Greenest Dollar - Tagline - Save Money. Save the Environment. Be Happy. Heather Levin started this blog about saving money and being green to share what she was learning about doing both while trying to pay her mortgage off as quickly as possible. On Twitter @GreenestDollar

You Green Review - Tagline - Where Every Voice is Heard. Founder Sara Rampersaud, a Sustainable Business Consultant, started this blog as "an interactive information hub whose mission is to bring some of the most pressing environmental issues facing us- as global citizens, businesses and consumers-to the forefront." A little bit of everything here for individuals and businesses. On Twitter @GreenSara

The Green Parent
- Tagline - Your friendly guide to earth friendly living.... Jenn Savedge, one of my fellow bloggers on MNN, writes about two topics that are close to her heart - the environment and children. I can't believe I didn't have this in my RSS feeder already. Lots of eco-friendly activities to do with children and lots of environmental information make this a useful site. Jenn also has a new book coming out - The Green Teen which I'll be reviewing soon - and she just may do a guest post here, too. On Twitter @thegreenparent

And hey, if I'm not in your RSS feeder, put me there. You can follow me on Twitter, too,
@rshreeves. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, April 27, 2009

How to recycle video cassettes, denim jeans, wine corks and more: An a little greener roundup

I've noticed that some of the posts that keep getting page views on this blog are ones about How to Recycle different hard to recycle items. Since I'm approaching my 45oth post here on A Little Greener Every Day, I thought I'd sift through the back posts, and bring all the recycling ones together in one for you.

Most of these are programs that recycle things that the majority of people cannot put out at the curb on recycling day.

Wine Corks

Glue Bottles and Glue Sticks

Yogurt Containers


Polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam)

Christmas Lights

Christmas Cards

Cell Phones

Cosmetic Packaging

Video Cassettes, Floppy Disks, CD's, DVD's and Audio Cassettes

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Green celebrations abound this weekend

Just a quick note to finish out the week. I know that several of the towns near me are having Green Festivals or Earth Day Celebrations or some sort of eco-friendly event to finish off Earth Week.

If there is one near you consider checking it out.
You'll likely find information on recycling in your area, gardening and composting tips as well as information on businesses in your area that are green or offer eco-friendly products and services. You'll never know what you might learn.

On a different note, I heard the most spectacular conversation between my six-year-old and his friend as they were walking home from school today. My son was educating his friend about composting.

"Say you've got stuff you're not gonna eat like apple peels or banana peels or something like that. You don't want to put it in the trash, that's bad. You want to put it in the composter so it will turn in to compost. Then you grow vegetables in the compost. You and me can even dig up worms in the back yard and throw them in the composter if we want!"

See, they do listen!

Have a great weekend. We'll be at the ball fields, yard saling, and checking out green festivals. See you Monday. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The most infuriating Earth Day press release

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had been sent a press release about organic bottled water. I usually get sent a few press releases every day informing me about different products or organizations that I'm told my readers will be interested in. If I think you actually will be interested in one of them, I'll write about it.

The two weeks leading up to Earth Day saw the number of press releases in my inbox increase exponentially. They came so fast and furiously that I'm sure I missed a few good ones. One that I didn't miss however was the one for Totally Organica bottled water.

At the risk of ticking off the people who make plastic bottles yet again, I'll make this clear. Bottled water is a big environmental problem. It's estimated that about 80% of the bottles never get recycled. Those that do get recycled do not become bottles again. They get
downcycled. It takes all new resources to make the plastic bottles for bottled water.

So when this company came along and spent the majority of their press release talking about how fabulous their plastic bottles are - how eco-chic and modern they are - I was floored.

I've ranted about it over on Mother Nature Network today in my weekly
Thursday food 'nooooo.'
If you'd like to hear my rant hop on over and give it a read.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Environmentlists and Earth Day? Not so perfect together anymore.

In what I think is mostly a reaction to companies trying to hijack Earth Day to tout their “greenness,” many environmentalists are having an adverse reaction to Earth Day.

Ding. Right after typing that sentence my computer let me know I had a new e-mail. It was from our friend Adam of Twilight Earth alerting me to his latest post. Amazing timing.

Here’s what Adam has to say at the beginning of his post today,
Earth Day - Celebration, Gimmick or Eco Guilt Forgiveness Day?

Twilight Earth isn’t about gimmicks, dog and pony shows or green-washing. It’s for this reason that we almost decided to boycott Earth Day, by not writing an article about it.

Believe me, we’ve had a lot of time to think about it. Leading up to today, we’ve received over 300 Earth Day related E-mails, press releases and requests to write articles. The sheer volume of Earth Day related hoopla is what gave us pause.

I’m afraid that the reason I don’t really care for Earth Day is that it has become another gimmick. Another way for corporate sponsors to peddle their wares and another way to make up for our environmental sins. It has also become a day where politicians can grab some green spotlight and pass environmentally friendly legislation.

Believe me, Adam, I get it. I've gotten those same 300 Earth Day related e-mails, perhaps more. Some of them have been downright insulting like the one that asked me to write about the first flavored bottled water to receive USDA organic status. Organic bottled water!!!!

Adam is by far, not the only one jaded this year by what in the past has been the environmental movements big day. Grist has a
"Screw Earth Day" campaign. Even my colleague Shae Gunther over on MNN wrote a tongue in cheek piece making fun of the one day a year efforts.

The fact of the matter is that for those of us who are involved in earth matters day in and day out, it is disheartening to see Earth Day becoming a corporate media day of hoopla. But for those who aren't involved day in and day out, I think it's still an important day. Here's why.
  1. Education happens in schools. Teachers rally around this day, around this week, using it to get in a few extra environmental lessons. When I ran the book fair last month at the school, the teachers were snatching up the few books on Global Warming and recycling for kids that were offered saying they were going to use them on Earth Day. Teachers aren't telling kids about organic bottled water or the fact that Macy's will give you 10% off all your purchases if you donate to an earthy cause. They are teaching the kids how to care for the earth today.
  2. Communities come together. Last Sunday, lots of families in my town that aren't involved day in and day out with earth matters came together to do clean up around the town. My Facebook account has pictures from my friends from town cleaning up parks and ballfields. Will this ultimately help the earth. Not really, but it will get people thinking about things.
  3. Seeds are planted - literally and figuratively. Yesterday, I spoke to a moms group on "thinking about food." I gave a small lecture on how our food choices effect the environment and then gave them a list of things to choose from that could make a difference. I had a lot of moms come up to me after and tell me that they had never thought about the information I gave them before but they were going to choose one thing from my list. I have no doubt that a few of those moms will learn more about this on their own. After my talk, the group planted herb seeds in recycled containers as a way to easily grow some of their own food. I know I'm not the only person speaking to groups across the country this week about environmental things and while not every person who hears talks this week will be changed, many will.
For those of us who live by the mantra "every day is Earth Day" maybe today isn't going to be any different from any other day. To be honest, my family didn't take part in our community Earth Day activities on Sunday. We weren't boycotting them; we just chose to do something else that day. And today, well I'm writing about earth matters - but I do that every day. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, April 20, 2009 will plant one tree for each swap on Earth Day

As I mentioned on my guest post on Twilight Earth on Friday, I'm not particularly keen on buying things to celebrate Earth Day, but swapping things on Earth Day - well that's downright earth friendly. And if that swap comes along with the planting of tree, that's even better., the site that allows users to swap books, dvd's, cd's and video games for free is working with The Nature Conservancy’s ‘Plant a Billion Trees’ program and will be planting a tree for every trade completed on Swaptree on Earth Day.

While currently several thousand trades happen every day on Swaptree, their goal on Earth Day is to do 10,000 trades and therefore plant 10,000 trees. While the average Swaptree user, given its emphasis on recycling and sharing, lowers their yearly carbon footprint by 180 pounds and saves trees from being turned into new books, with this initiative they hope to offset literally several thousand tons of CO2.

If you've been meaning to check out Swaptree but haven't done it yet, Wednesday is the day to do it. I've written about this earth friendly site several times before, but you know what, I have yet to complete a trade. I signed up for an account and someone tried to trade with me last summer when I was on vacation, but by the time I got home the trade had expired or been recinded or something. I think maybe I'll see what I can trade tomorrow on Earth Day.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Tax Refund Money? 10 Ways to Spend Your Green, Greenly

It's the third Friday of the month and that means we're privileged to have a guest post by Adam Shake of Twilight Earth. Today he's talking about how to spend our tax refunds wisely and greenly.

A common misconception amongst many people is that being green costs more money, than not. This is not true, and in fact, the opposite is true. Being green saves you green. But just like most things in life, there is sometimes an up front cost involved, and that cost, over time, pays for itself or cost's less than a conventional product.

We've put together a list of items that will help you live a healthier life, help you keep the planet clean and will save you money. It’s a win, win, win situation!

  1. An Energy Star Washing Machine - While saving over $50.00 per year, the machine will pay for itself through its average life-cycle of 10 years. Kenmore, GE, Asko and Miele are just a few of the companies that sell these models.
  2. An Energy Star Dishwasher - This has a double bonus. Not only will you be saving money on electricity, but these use 25-50% less water than a non Energy Star rated Dishwasher. Save some green and use fewer resources.
  3. Energy Star Refrigerator - Standard Fridges account for a whopping 15% of your household electric use. But there is good news, new Energy Star Refrigerators use 40% less energy than models sold in 2001! One of these could easily save you $50.00 a year in electric expense.
  4. High Efficiency Water Heater - Saving you over $100.00 a year through less energy use and water use, for most homes you can get the heater itself for $600 - $1,200. Sounds like a good deal.
  5. Upgrade your insulation - There are many homes, especially those in the South West that don't have adequate insulation. Proper insulation is one of the most overlooked energy saving methods out there, and should be started in the attic. Just about any insulation investment will pay for itself in less than five years. You can also buy great insulation made in the US out of recycled and sustainable materials such as Cocoon cellulose insulation (recycled newspaper), Ultratouch recycled denim insulation, and BioBased insulation (made from soybean oil)
  6. New Windows - If you do not have them already, installing energy-efficient, or double-paned windows can be a great way to use your refund. Not only will installing these new windows keep the cold out and the heat in, but you can also claim federal tax deductions for qualifying installations, if installed before December 31st of 2009. You can deduct 10% of the cost, up to $200 for all windows, skylights, and storm windows.
  7. Change out your light bulbs and shower heads - Perhaps you’ve been waiting to change your incandescent lights to compact fluorescents or LEDs because the latter are expensive. Now’s the time spend a couple hundred dollars and get really energy-efficient lighting throughout your home– and for outdoors as well. Compact fluorescent lights will last ten times as long as standard bulbs, and LED lights will last 5-10 times longer than the fluorescents. You’ll save money and energy. Also spend $50 to get a few low-water-use shower heads. These shower heads can save you 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year. And they work great! You won’t know you’re in a low-flow shower!
  8. Alternative Energy Stocks - It looks as if the economy may be turning around, but even if we have to wait a bit, Alternative Energy Stocks are the way to go. Check out sites like for more ideas and tips.
  9. Invest in a Garden - What's better than healthy eating, saving money on groceries and spending time outside? Not much. Did you know that the largest selling seed in the United States is grass seed? Did you know that there is more grass grown in this country than corn? Gardening is the way to go.
  10. Saving your green - One of the things we like to say here at Twilight Earth is that "Sometimes, the greenest thing to do, is to do nothing at all." The only thing I would suggest replacing with energy efficient substitutes is light-bulbs and shower-heads. (Unless it is time to replace other things) Nothing else should be replaced if it has already been installed and is in good working order. The energy it takes to create things often offsets the savings of replacing them. Please don't go ripping out hardwood flooring to replace it with bamboo. Please don't tear out counter-tops to replace them with recycled glass ones. Only replace when needed, and then replace with green!

Adam Shake is the founder of Twilight Earth, a blog that brings news and excellent commentary on what is going on with the environment worldwide that we need to care about. Whether he's educating about the environmental impact of things like coal or simply sharing his breathtaking photos of nature, I always learn something at his site. Visit Twilight Earth and look around (and check out my guest post on his site today).

On his blog he says "I’m about sharing with you what I know, what I’m learning, and what I’m ignorant about in reference to this huge subject that we call the environment." That's what we appreciate around here.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet 8 year old Ally

I've got an interview today with 8 year old Ally, a budding environmentalist. Last month, I ran the book fair at my boys' school. There was a book for kids about how to stop global warming, and Ally was the only kid I saw buy it.

My mom happened to be there that day (cause it doesn't matter how old you are, when you do something like run the entire book fair at the school, your mom shows up to spend a couple bucks and support you). She got into a conversation with Ally about the polar bears. Ally spoke very passionately about the polar bears so I asked if she would be interested in being interviewed for this blog. She agreed.

So everyone, meet Ally.

What are you most concerned about when it comes to the environment? Why?

I’m concerned about polar bears and trees so, so, so, so much. Polar bears can only live in one place, the Antarctic. If we don’t help them no one else will. I really don’t want polar bears to go extinct because they’re so cute and then there won’t be any bears left.

What can be done to help the polar bears?

People can use as less energy and water as possible. The energy goes up to the power plants and the more energy is used the more greenhouse gases come out. The more greenhouse gases come out the hotter the earth gets and the global warming melts the glaciers and the fish are going deeper than usual and the water level is rising and the bears can’t go down that deep to get the fish for their cubs.

What are things that you do in your house to help the polar bears and the environment in general?

I try to turn off electronics when I’m done using them and I try to use as less paper and water as possible.

Are there any other environmental problems you are concerned about? What are they?

I’m concerned about people cutting down too many trees.
What do you know that is good that people are doing to help the environment?

It’s good to know that some people are re-planting trees after they cut down other trees. We need trees because they clean the air by sucking in all the bad carbon dioxide and putting in good carbon dioxide. This keeps us breathing clean, healthy air.

\thank you for letting me say what I want to say about the environment. Ally

When I was talking to Ally, I asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She told me she wanted to be an accountant because she's good with numbers and on the side she wanted to run environmental protests. Gotta love it!

Image: Just Being Myself
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going Green for your graduate

Little Darryl is graduating from college next month. Only no one calls him "Little" Darryl anymore because he's 22. Darryl lives next door (when he's not on campus), and he was 11 when we bought our house. When we first moved in, he mowed the lawn for us until we got our own lawn mower and over the years he has done lots of yard work for us, fixed our kids' bikes, driven us to the airport at some outrageously early hour, and I can't remember what else. 

There will be some definite celebrating on my block when Darryl graduates. Lynn and Corey from Celebrate Green have come up with some ideas for greening a graduation celebration and some eco-friendly gifts for the grad. I just might be able to get an idea for my neighbor from it and you might be able to get ideas for your own graduate.

Giving a graduation party? 
  • Easy to make it greener by not over buying food and composting leftovers
  • using tap water instead of buying bottled
  • if you do purchase beverages, buy glass bottles over cans, cans over plastic; 
  • provide recycling bins
  • use reusable plates, cups, utensils and napkins; buy organic and local when possible

Gift green-minded grads with something that appeals to their eco-altruism 
  • Shares in a socially responsible investment fund
  • A Tis Best gift card that allows the graduate to choose from among hundreds of charities to give money to
  • A trip via a socially responsible eco-travel organization or a volunteer trip

Other ideas for graduates that will most likely align with their eco-values:
  • A digital camera with a reminder to take only photos wherever she travels
  • A treefree paper journal and recycled pens
  • A gift certificate to a CSA so they will start off their new lives with fresh, local food
  • A local coupon book for sustainable items and organic food like this one that is                                available in six cities around the U.S.
  • Books like Making a Lviing While Making a Difference: Conscious Careers for an Era of Interdependence or Green Jobs: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hitting the yard sales just got easier

Buying pre-owned stuff instead of new stuff is one way to be green. You help to keep perfectly useful items from ending up unused or in landfills and you keep new resources from being used to create new items.

Yard sales are one way to easily find new homes for your unused items and to find those items that you need. A new feature on Googlemaps is going to make it a lot easier to find yard sales in your area. Yard Sale Treasure Map lets you put in your location and then finds yard sales around you.  

The map uses Craigslist yard sale listings to compile the information. If you know of a yard sale that isn't listed on the map, you can input the address or just click on the map. It will add the sale to your map. Then you can print out a list of yard sales and directions so you can easily hit as many of them as you want.

I really think this is great. Even more so because for the first time in six years, I don't have a 9am baseball game every single spring morning. I used to hit the yard sales a lot when my boys were really little, but once they got old enough for sports, my spring and fall mornings (prime yard sale seasons around me) always had a 9am ball game. 

The Yard Sale Treasure Map was brought to my attention by one of my fellow bloggers on MNN, Jenn Savedge. She's the family blogger and always has great information about things to help your family go a little greener. Check her out.
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Schools out: Play outdoors with your kids

I've really been trying to follow Bethe Almeras' advice (remember her, she's The Grass Stain Guru) and play outdoors a lot more lately - especially with my kids. They start a much needed 10 days of from school today, and I'm determined to make sure they spend most of their time outside. 

I asked Tina Yerkes, whose job it is to know where to play outdoors in my region, for some ideas. She's put together a fabulous list of things to do. Even if you don't live around me, this list may make you think of something similar where you live, and inspire you.
  1. Palmyra Nature Cove - 250 acres of green in a highly developed area on the Delaware River just south of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge. With its woodlands, wetlands, tidal cove and wild river shore line, PCNP serves as an important feeding site for migratory birds. 856-829-1900
  2. Woodford Cedar Run - 184 acre refuge surrounding Cedar Run Lake with nature trails, live animals, educational & hands-on, fun exhibits. Donations to “adopt” animals will make a lasting impression. 856-983-3329 
  3. Camden Children’s Garden - The 4 acre, interactive garden features themed and educational exhibits like the Butterfly House, Storybook gardens & Train garden and so much more. 856-365-8733 
  4. Rankokus Indian Reservation - A 350 acre site with a Native American heritage museum, live buffalo, nature trails, park & gallery. 609-261-4747 
  5. Batsto Village & Mansion Tour - The roots of Batsto Village can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop. 609-561-0024 
  6. Red Bank Battlefield & Whitall House - 44-acre site of a successful Revolutionary War battle with the remains of Fort Mercer. Whitall House, circa 1748, served as both Revolutionary War headquarters and a field hospital. 856-853-5120 
  7. Fort Mott State Park - Fort Mott in Pennsville was part of a coastal defense system designed for the Delaware River in the 1800’s. 856-935-3218
  8. Paws Animal Center - Promotes a special relationship between people, their local history and environment with an emphasis on reaching out to children. Learning is designed to be fun at Paws Farm. Classes & story hours, animal programs, interactive exhibits and more than 80 birds and animals are housed here. 856-778-8795  
  9. Cooper River Park - William G. Rohrer Children's Playground with pavilions, 2 softball fields, The Cooper River Yacht Club, 2 bike paths, dog park, miniature golf course & sculpture garden. 
  10. Duffield’s Farm - A family farming tradition since 1953. Start the summer right with Duffield's u-pick ripe strawberry fields, opening the first week of June. Stop by later this summer for our own field-grown Jersey tomatoes and luscious Silver Queen white sweet corn, picked fresh daily. Hay rides, activities for children & an active year-round calendar. 856-589-7090  
Tina Yerkes, SJTC Director of Product Development, has the fun job to visit, promote & package our wonderful venues and attractions to not only tourists who come to our South Jersey region but also to our residents of this region. South Jersey is rich in history, culture, food and some of the best eco- & agri-tourism in the country.

South Jersey Tourism Corporation is a regional tourism marketing organization whose mission is to increase the economic tourism engines of Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties. Our primary focus is to increase the number of tourists that visit and spend money in these counties and promote the many historical, cultural, entertainment & recreational assets of our region.  

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

10 reasons to buy local food

Today we were scheduled to have a very charming interview with an 8 year old environmentalist (no, it's not one of my boys), but e-mails went awry, and we're going to have to wait till next week to hear from her.

Instead of scrambling and pulling something out of the air, I'm going to point you to my newest blog, South Jersey Locavore. It's been building readership since I started focusing on it last week. Today's topic is
10 reasons to buy local food, and those reasons are good for any region, not just South Jersey. So click on the link and read.

Hey, do you twitter? I've got two twitter accounts -
@rshreeves where I twitter about this blog, my MNN stuff, my Sustainablog stuff and just stuff in general and @SJLocavore where I focus mostly on stuff of interest to those in my region. I'd love for you to follow me. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Earth Day is on April 22 but why wait till then

Recycle Bank and Burts Bees sent me a list of 10 Earth Day tips to use on this site. They're great tips, but as I was reading them over I realized (even before I got to their ending comment) - these are all things you can do any day, not just on Earth Day. 

As Earth Day approaches, I'll be talking more about what you can do in your own community to celebrate, but I thought this list was worth putting up because they are things we should be doing whether it's Earth Day or not. Here's what Recycle Bank and Burts Bees have to say.

In 1970, the first Earth Day motivated and energized people to take action and think differently about life on the planet. Now, with almost 39 Earth Day Celebrations under our belt, it’s time to up the ante and think about good ol’ Mother Earth each and every day.

RecycleBank and Burt’s Bees have come up with 10 easy ways that you can do to make a difference today, tomorrow, and every day.

  1. Recycle: This Earth Day, take a good hard look at your trash. We trust you’ll fish out some recyclables in the mix (probably from others), but also remember E-Waste like cell phones, MP3’s and laptops can all be recycled and repurposed.
  2. Freecycle: The above is sure to stir up some goodies that can be useful to those around us: clothes, books, electronics, furniture, etc.
  3. Reuse. Reuse. And did we mention Reuse? Products have life spans. Leave behind paper plates, plastic forks and any other disposables. Reusable serve ware, portable mugs for that latte and a water jug for that necessary potable will lessen landfills and just make life taste better!
  4. Wallet Activism: Look for products made from recycled materials, natural ingredients and minimal / biodegradable packaging. By supporting eco-friendly companies your green supports the greater green.
  5. Park It: Celebrate the beauty of spring with a walk when you could have driven. Carpool, take public transport, ride your bike. If you can’t do it every day, try once a week. When you do drive, make sure you pump up your tires so you can deflate your fill-ups.
  6. Junk It: Putting the kibosh on junk mail and catalogues will save you time, save landfill space and save millions of trees (and probably make the post office happy too).
  7. Bills. Bills. Bills. We won’t advise not paying ‘em, but we wholly support going paperless for your banking, bill paying and at the ATM.
  8. Live Life Locally: Support your local farmers while enjoying fresh produce and organically grown goodies. You can even try going veggie once or twice a week.
  9. Say Y-E-S to CFL’s: You’ll save time, money and energy…but you may have to give up on the “How many _____’s does it take to change a light bulb?” jokes because you’ll change them so infrequently.
  10. Spread the Word: Tell your friends how easy it is to shave off some carbon here, save some resources there and conserve a little energy here. And then they can tell their friends. And then they can tell their friends…
RecycleBank and Burt’s Bees are committed to finding clean, green ways of existing on this planet. These simple steps above can help you protect the environment, each and every day.

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